The following are the outputs of the real-time captioning taken during the Fourteenth Annual Meeting of the Internet Governance Forum (IGF) in Berlin, Germany, from 25 to 29 November 2019. Although it is largely accurate, in some cases it may be incomplete or inaccurate due to inaudible passages or transcription errors. It is posted as an aid to understanding the proceedings at the event, but should not be treated as an authoritative record.
>> MODERATOR: Good morning to everyone. I think we can get started. Good afternoon, sorry, to everyone. I'm jet lagged still. Good afternoon to everyone. And thank you very much for being here at this meeting of DC3. Every year with new ideas, new projects. This year we have yet another official outcome of DC3, this booklet on building policies collaborative governance towards enabling frameworks. So there are copies of the books at the entrance and there are piles around. If you want to have one, please take one. It is a gift. It's a gift kindly sponsored. So thanks Jane and Isaac for having sponsored the publication.
I think besides how nice it is to receive a gift, I think it's interesting to note how meaningful it is to have produced every year concrete outputs and prove wrong who those who say it's only about talks. People, if they want, can corporate work together and produce concrete things that can be useful to policy makers, to any kind of Stakeholder that wants to use the outcome, so we are not obliging anyone to listen to us. There is people here that is in the community network field since decades, years and is even doing community networks part of the personal life. In these booklets very interesting ideas that should be considered. This latest booklet is also shorter because it is targeted at policy makers who sometimes have reduced attention span. And so after having dedicated three years of research to a broader community with quite large books, we felt the need to have more concise version of our ideas that could be actually readily implemented and used by policy makers.
So part of this is precisely to provide suggestion of what could be the policy elements that could facilitate networks. If any government is interesting in understanding what are Community Networks but how to facilitate people, so the right to build to your own networking infrastructure to pursue your social, political development which is, of course, already fundamental right is grounded in fundamental rights. And Community Networks demonstrates it's a reality. You guys are doing our building the internet yourself around the world.
You are living proof that we are not (?) We aim at facts. So this booklet is precisely aimed at providing ‑‑ helping also other Stakeholders understanding this is a reality. It's a very suitable option to expand connectivity to enhance the quality of life of thousands and potentially millions of individuals. It's an option. It's not a silver bullet but it's an interesting option. So I would like to start by introducing our distinguished panelists of today that have made us the owner of providing some ideas on what their institutions are doing, what their groups are doing, what their communities are doing so we can collectively understand how we can better work together. First of all, Edison Lanza. Thank you very much for being here. On my right (?) Intergovernmental and regulators institution. So very interesting.
Jane Coffin. Carlos Baco from Rhizomatica. Carlos Rey‑Moreno who is there from affirm PC. And Adam Burns. And you are not Julie. Abdul, thank you very much for being here. Excellent. Thank you very much. So I don't want to steal any more time to our panelists. So I would like Edison to start by providing little bit insights on why the organizational American states can be interested in community networks.
>> EDISON LANZA: Thank you, Luca. Good afternoon, everyone.
My office is inside of the Commission of Human Rights and part of the organization for American state. We have a mandate around all the atmosphere. And I'm not a specialist in Community Networks and technical issues in this field. But we try to promote and standardized solution for universal access for internet around the region. And we did this report about free open and inclusive internet. And also ten years ago, my officer played a very important rule for standards for our community radios. And the spectrum. It's okay?
And I feel that this issue is important to include in the access of internet and the access for information and the right to receive and spread information in America which is the most inequal continent in the world. And important communities in indigenous people communities with lack access of internet. And I want to thank the coalition for inviting me. And perhaps we can start approaches to including our standards. These kind of solution for more access to information, education and knowledge and so on.
Thank you so much.
>> MODERATOR: Thanks. Thank you very much, Edison, for providing such inspiration in terms of hope for future works ideas. Very good to see we can count on you to work together in Community Networks in the kind of strategy that OIS can promote.
>> EDISON LANZA: And we need the cooperation of the experts in this field.
>> MODERATOR: Thank you very much. Now, speaking about experts, Christina Data is the director of spectrum policy at OfCom. The British telecommunicator. Doing interesting work for many community networks. So Christina, we can start with your presentation.
>> CHRISTINA DATA: Hello. Good afternoon, everyone. And thank you, Luca, for inviting me to this session. I'm going to bring a slightly different perspective but one that is quite important. Are you controlling? Excellent.
First of all, don't get scared about the fact I'm talking about 5G. It's a little step forward but it might have been actually the catalyst for our way of thinking with regards to how we make sure that spectrum can be accessed. We started reflecting on the evolution of wireless demand. More and more player wanting to access wireless connectivity in different type of ways. And our objective on top of our duty was actually to make sure that spectrum is not an inhibitor of wireless innovation and wireless connectivity.
So what we've done and part of a lot of discussion that I've listened to today and I'm sure it's part of a lot of what has been discussed in the previous sessions is wireless technology, again, is the enabler of all of the AI connectivity but can deliver significant benefit to society as a whole. In the UK, we've carried out a sort of engagement plan and engagement with several different Stakeholders and sectors to really bring the benefit of digital technology to industry, to agriculture, to health, et cetera so they could understand what digital technology could do for them.
In that context, as I said before, spectrum is incredibly important amongst all of the uses for rural connectivity. Rural connectivity requiring in a way different type of ‑‑ different type potentially of spectrum. So the model that I think we would like to see exported a little bit more potentially. So clearly, to enable connectivity, you need to have different type of spectrum access models. The national licenses but a role for local and geographical licenses. So we developed and we consulted publicly and we had our statement in the summer. We developed two new type of licenses. I'm going to be quick so we can have a lot more conversation later on.
One that is opening up access to mobile consistent and we're talking about 1800, 2.3 and 3.2. The access to mobile bands so with plastic mobile bands without being used across the world. But want to use it where they are not using them right now. So our licenses are not exclusive and that's something that I'm not sure it's the case in many other countries.
We've always said our licenses are not exclusive. So when the spectrum is not used, we can issue licenses to third parties to actually deliver connectivity and the big deal I was mentioning was (?) have made an agreement they could use 4G spectrum in places to deliver connectivity in the UK. And in the summer, everybody was saying connectivity for the UK, yes. Still a lot of places that are unconnected. So this solution is actually delivered benefits to cities and consumers. The next is a little bit more like what is the model?
Two different types of model. Potentially in door or urban area solution. We see factories in the street, warehouses, et cetera. And then the medium power solution. Other type of deployment. It's a very important point that are extremely low as well. Some are based by the station. Some are based on an area. We're talking about in the case of these shared licenses. 80 pound per megahertz which is not much. In the case of the license to mobile spectrum, we're issuing licenses that are 950 pound for the duration of the license which is three years. These licenses can be negotiated and last longer than the three years that we issue a license for. So a slightly different model from what potentially is being seen elsewhere.
Connectivity for us in industrial sectors, et cetera. But also deliver as we've seen with the open cell model for rural communities within the UK. This is just questions and we'll do that later.
>> MODERATOR: Excellent. Thank you very much. And it's extremely inspiring to see there are regulators that are sharing spectrum and actively promoting spectrum sharing in an unexclusive way and this should be a best practice that all regulators around the world should adopt. Very good example.
Speaking about experiences around the world as a person who has traveled to all community networks around the world is Jane Coffin. Together with Carlos. Nobody better than Jane can provide insight on what are the latest evolutions in the community network community and how the internet society work is helping with this.
>> JANE COFFIN: Thank you, Luca. I may have to throw my partners in crime in the internet society. And Carlos, of course. What we're doing is trying to ‑‑ and I mentioned this yesterday, listen. Not impose ourselves in places where people ‑‑ we don't believe in just suggesting to people we should come in and go somewhere. But we do hold convening meetings for community building where people may not have thought about building a network and want to and we come and suggest that we could help them or point them in the direction of other people that may be more expert in a certain area. So that's the focus on community building.
Convening events whether it's a workshop, a summit or helping provide support to others who might be doing that better than we do.
So if it's APC or another group, a community network team that wants to put an event together, we provide small funding for support there too.
We work on deployments. Some of the team actually does do some of the deployments. A colleague was such with Ucha here from Georgia hacking solar panels that weren't working at a certain elevation and certain battery output taking up a lot of power. But also putting in a solution. So some of our teams do actually climb the hills and mountains and help put the equipment in. Others help support, like me. Where we're helping identify somebody who might need seed funding to get a project done. And/or looking at projects that are deployed and coming back in when we forgot to do an assessment on the ground in the beginning which we're trying to hold ourselves to a better metrics next year where we're looking at what the community looked like before we went in. Who is connected, age ‑‑ well, not age cause we're trying to stay away from ageism. But who is in the community? Why they want to be connected, how we can work on sustainability and come back in for metrics so we can look at impact. And impact is something that is complicated to measure. I'm a huge fan of also looking at the social impact and what networks can do to change people's lives so it's not just the hard statistics on which band of spectrum is being used or what type of equipment. That's something ‑‑ those are pieces of data you can easily find. But it's that impact of the air B and B. Prescriptions are up 50% in the villages. I think that's a statistic Ucha's team had given us. You are looking at changes in small communities. Where people come back to the villages thanks to the work that's been done. That human impact is not sufficient for others looking at the fact that people were unconnected. Now, they are being connected and there's revitalization in certain areas as well. That is very important to us. We look at policy and regulatory work. We've done work with APC and others. We've helped them do that. We've written others themselves. So we are taking a strong look at spectrum. We believe shared use and other innovative approaches to spectrum are critical. I used to work at an age that is a spectrum authority in the United States. I'm not a spectrum engineer. I used to look at this and think how is this real estate being divided up and why can't more people have access to it?
Matt sitting here next to me can show you slides where there is huge gaps across the United States especially in the tribal lands where big operators were provided with spectrum licenses but don't provide services. There's massive gaps in the indigenous communities. Which is why when people say why are you looking at U.S. communities or Canadian or other, we helped support a Wi‑Fi‑based network. They are doing amazing work in places where this service was ‑‑ the costs were really high. So it's working on community building, bringing people together. Sometimes it's just connecting people at a meeting like this and getting out of the way. My CEO often says we need to move the furniture out of the way. Which means get out of the way when you don't need to be in the way. And things we can do to help scale the work going on. Support others who do a better job. And help move the ball forward. We believe it's important to talk to the people in the ITU that we know quite well to see where we can move the ball forward. I think we've seen with partners like APC, article 19 and others. You do have to stay in the game even if you are not making progress at a meeting.
We were at a treaty conference about a year ago at this time and absolutely got crushed. We thought we were coming in and thought we could get text into resolutions at a treaty conference and they wouldn't even allow the words community networks in the documents. It was a killer. Judith was there as well. It was demoralizing in some ways. We were working on this for a long time. We realize we come in tactically and strategically we have to fix that. I'm pretty stubborn. If you know me well enough, you know that. The good news is there's so many of us that this is something that is now taking traction. At a meeting yesterday, we talked about the fact we're no longer in a position to say community networks are things people should question. They exist and they are working. How can we create more sustainability?
So I'll stop talking so others can. There's just ways that we can work hard with the UN agencies to make this a reality and not a threat because they are complimentary.
In some places, they are an alternative. The other issue from a policy regulatory perspective, the last barrier is working with organizations like GSMA. They are doing great work and the companies themselves to say you haven't provided service in 20 something years. Your licenses said you should. Something is wrong with the business model. If you can't get that return on investment, partner up with these smaller networks that can get that for you. So it's a licensing joint venture, if you would.
>> MODERATOR: Thank you very much. And also, thank you for highlighting the last point that in the peripheral areas or rural areas that are known and academically identified as market failure areas as the name suggests is the market fails to connect them. To provide the service. So other options should be explored, utilized if the objective is the final goal is to provide connectivity. Another point I think you hinted at the fact that it is community networks help provide affordable connectivity. But I would also stress in many cases, it's also high-quality connectivity. The New York City you mentioned is a very good example. And Broadband in the UK. Very good examples of the fact that community network may provide the very high-quality connectivity not only affordable.
The last point I also want to stress because last year we had the honor to have also the ITU as a co‑sponsor. Which this year for bureaucratic reasons was not possible. But the fact that the post phase of the booklet is authored by Bruno Ramos is an indication IT was understanding. This year was not possible to have an official logo of the IT here. The total interest of the ITU is in this work. Something you have to keep in mind. To get into the concrete dynamics of community networks, I think it would be good to start exploring examples. Carlos Baco from Rhizomatica has been doing a lot of research and coordinating a lot of initiatives in Mexico.
We have a presentation that now we can start putting on screen. And please, the floor is yours.
>> CARLOS BACO: Hey, hi, everyone. Thank you for the invitation for the panel. I think it's very happy to me to be with such personalities in the Community Networks. I work in an organization called Rhizomatica. And the other two logos is we are a consortium of organizations. In Mexico, we have (?) That is an organization that works for many, many years in political level and the indigenous communities to help local contents and research center that we created this year and we're trying to do some different kind of research about what happened in the community media and the community networks and how the communities can put together their knowledge, the community knowledge with the technologies and appropriate it. I want to talk about the community‑owned cellular networks in Mexico. One of the projects we develop. And the next one, please.
In this photograph, it's the roof of the governmental office in a little town in Mexico. And there is ‑‑ how much of this intense work? Right now, only two of it. Why? Because there is a lot of governments that fail. And fail because they are not link with the community. The maintenance that is necessary, et cetera. So the problem to solve the access to the telecommunication service is important to think more. Not only about coverage but all the things that involves the failure of access.
In Mexico, this is the numbers. This is the most recent survey about the penetration of telecommunication services. And only 45% use a computer. 74% have a cell phone. We all know this is maybe less because they are counting all the phones existing in the country, not how many people use it really. And 67% are internet users. In Mexico, not all the state has the game numbers. And there is a lot of little towns and states that cover the services ‑‑ the service is not only by 20% or something like that like is the state.
In 2013, there is a legal reform in Mexico.
It's a struggle to make it possible. And there is three kind of licenses that the communities can approach. One is social use. This is for universities, everything that it's looking for a profit. There is other one social community use for an organization, legal organization, an NDO and social indigenous use.
This is very important because there is a different way to prove there is a community that is asking for the (?)
We have this one for the cellular service. This is the organization that make up the network. The one who has the concession. Everything in the model is linked with the way of life for the communities. It's called Comunalidad and it has a particularities. They can operate it in their work with this umbrella.
Right now, we have 60 ‑‑ 16 networks and 60 communities. It change changes a lot because some communities decided not to participate or other ones have six years without, et cetera.
What are some of the challenge? The extension of the network. We have 16 states of the country. But as I said, the model is only ‑‑ it is particular to the communities. So we cannot do the same in Chihuahua or Jalisco or other states. What it's replicating in some other countries right now like in Columbia. It's not the same model. Another challenge. It's to find a way to train more people to the capacities to develop their own cellular networks. And it has a lot of models not only about the technical issues but the political issues around the technologies. And we are working, actually, together with ITU online course with good camp in February. And there is people from 11 countries in Latin America.
Another challenge we have the concession. If you go to the constitution of Mexico, you say it's very nice. But the system is not nice. We need to change a lot of things. So we have a legal process because the government want to make a space of the taxes like if we ‑‑ the same of cell or movie star. They are legal operators.
And with our experience, we have a lot of document that we share with the new government in Mexico. To what is the factors that make it better?
The public policies to let the communities ‑‑ products of communication and telecommunication. There is nine of it. I don't go inside of each one. Access to information, agile and simple license system. Participate in the programs government of coverage. Spectrum access. Improve the governance of the free‑use spectrum. Access to fiber, interconnection and peering. Access to resources. Technological development and research. And develop programs to generate local contents.
I'll finish on one idea that I want to share with you. This is really important. The solutions that the communities themselves give to their technology problems are the only ones that have proven to be efficient and sustainable overtime. This is proof. There is a lot of studies about that. And the governments must provide the enabling environment for this to happen. Nothing more and nothing less. It's their responsibility to make this environment but not go so far because it fail like other programs of connectivity and access. Thank you and sorry for my English.
>> MODERATOR: Thank you very much, Carlos. Thank you very much. Very points that are essential here. First one is capacity building and the fact that the great work you have been doing with Rhizomatica and the other friends like Peter Bloom and Eric working with you in capacity building and the fact that you are now working with the ITU in this is extremely good for all people interested in this. The other point and this reminds me a little bit, my wife as a psychologist tells me sometimes which is the patient is the greatest expert of his or her problem. And what you said about the community being the greatest expert of its problem is exactly the same thing. The first thing that regulators have to do before reading any booklet is to go and check with the local communities, what is the problem and why they are not connected. Because they are the best expert. Now, the second thing, of course, is to read the booklet. And the third point I wanted to make is that many of the points that you have raised, licenses, access and they are all here precisely because you and other people here have been providing extremely important meaningful inputs here in this policy elements. And simply a distillation of work people have been doing. And extremely good points. Thank you very much for raising this. I would also now to pass to Adam. He is going to speak about more European approach to community networks. We have another presentation here. And particularly, you will hear about (?) and how this has been going on in Germany.
>> ADAM BURNS: Hi. Thank you, Luca. Do I do anything to this to get the presentation up?
>> MODERATOR: Can we put the presentation please?
>> ADAM BURNS: Thank you. Hi. I've been involved in community networking since 2000, 2001. And been involved in a lot of community networks across the world. As well as getting involved in research projects. But also had the pleasure of coming to hear Berlin, Germany, many times over the last 15 plus years and developing, talking with and scheming with like‑minded people who were interested in the philosophy of access equality and open network communications for all. And I've invited a colleague of mine, Electra, who has also been involved in community networking for a similar amount of time. Electra is one of the core inventors of mesh networking. And also been involved in many other endeavors as well which we'll get to. I've entitled this talk mission coherence in collaborative connectivity. If anyone knows what that means, can they please see me afterwards?
Briefly, what I mean by this is Freifunk is amazing structure and network here in Germany. They cover pretty well all regions.
Numbers of nodes or numbers of users as we call them. It's also about engagement. And I use the phrase mission coherence because I recently hear in the Berlin scene heard a talk by a man called Julian Oliver who has been responsible for volunteering his time to help with the internet infrastructure for a fairly well‑known group now called extinction rebellion. Environmental group that he has helped with. In the choice of technologies used, he suggested all the way through to use green data centers that were thermo powered. Met here in Berlin. Crashing an architectural conference. And they drafted and co‑authored what was called the Pico peering agreement. This is a one‑page document designed to communicate the understandings of different groups or different people who were willing to start to connect to each other over radio or by any other means. It was inspired by the original protocols of how internet exchanges and peering works that was meant at a personal and community level. It promotes concepts of network neutrality at a low level. If we fast forward today, Freifunk has grown to the size where it has reached some amount of core infrastructure. They have participated with a company called IN‑BERLIN that's dedicated to non‑profit and project‑based groups that wish to have internet peering to facilitate their work rather than the individual groups trying to set this up themselves.
This initiative to handle peering for all of these initiatives. A growing number of regional groups are now connected into core peering agreements within the internet. So I come back to the mission coherence at scale. The politics and ethics of network neutrality, transparency and openness in local communities is scaling to larger traditional core infrastructures of peering. And so I wanted to tell you a story about the evolution for that reason. Also do outreach in terms of education, teaching people how do ‑‑ how to DIY, do it yourself. How to join the Freifunk movement.
But beyond just the educational role, in collaboration with the Berlin senate, Tempelhof project, activists installed a node on the roof called Tempelhof. Recently, reused in a sense in that recently over 500 refugees were housed temporarily in some of the hangars, the old hangars of the old airport. A couple of the activists installed a node on the roof of the building they were part of. And allowed and enabled not only just the refugees that were staying there temporarily but the public as well within the Tempelhof park and the government and state senate that also had a resource there called the sole garage where public civil participation processes for the senate department of urban development also took place. So binding both the disconnected and the hidden with the general public and the state infrastructure and bureaucracy with one symbolic measure. Freifunk also do a lot of projects with refugee groups around Germany whether it's in the housing area or helping with facilities in the open air as well. Also gave access to the public areas including a children's circus and a windmill area. But now, here is a moment where I'd like to allow Electra to talk about some of the projects. Not only being a core part of the protocol development enabled networks around the world to mesh more easily. Worked on a number of other infrastructure things that have helped people in dispossessed areas or remote areas to network further. So I'd like to talk with Electra about her motivation for doing such projects and explain each one.
>> Well, first, this is a project we now call ISEMS. And also in legal cams to get basic internet access. This is something these people desperately need. So I had the idea up in my head for a long time to develop special controller that integrates with router. So you can operate a relatively cheap and energy wireless relay wherever you want to see fit. In order to give access to remote locations where the Wi‑Fi frequencies we can use can reach because there are cycles in between. So if there's a mountain between or the range is not sufficient, you can put overlay at that location.
>> ADAM BURNS: And you collaborated with ‑‑ again, tell us about the collaboration with other external groups went on that. You've got the ‑‑
>> I started a very tiny funding. Managed to get funding finances by the ministry for research on education. And this whole work would not have been possible supportive to knowledge foundation and the guys that make the open source.
>> ADAM BURNS: But not only that, not only have you been instrumental or open hardware solar controller to allow for more remote installations and in communications but can you talk about your experiences with Wi‑Fi transmissions over TV white space?
>> Well, if I have your attention and ears and there are some people that might be influential in this regard, I'm very happy to have the opportunity. In Germany and other places, I know television was digitalized. We suggest an approach to use the power of the spectrum. Using a license exempt part of the spectrum where we should be able to run mesh networks in collaborative way. I can tell you in person about the details. So the idea was to apply for license for testing license and we got one for a year in order to do frequency shift.
Can be done relatively quickly where the traditional frequencies cannot reach. Our success and the success of community networks around the world, I guess the enabling factors are that we had analyzed spectrum and we had the hardware. That by the means of open source, we could modify so it was enabling you to serve without a cable. It was actually possible to interconnect places and cities and beyond. So the next logical steps would be to do the same where we can reach further and also at places where people live in the forest. And the TV wide space concepts all require some databases and so on. But if you would have a dedicated spectrum like 40 megahertz or whatever where we can use frequency shifted Wi‑Fi, we could connect remote places in no time.
>> ADAM BURNS: Fantastic work. I cannot overstate what you put in technology and the activism as well. Thank you. And you did that in association with media ‑‑
>> Television and radio and MABB. So it's not ‑‑
>> Yeah. Okay. In all of these little stories, there's a lot more to Freifunk in terms of educational outreach into the community. What really shows is in that case, they are extremely successful in building bridges.
It might be a community wireless, but they build bridges into other communities whether it's governments or the excluded. Whether it's the outlier or the core. Other people around us can learn a lot about people who understand the situation as Luca sort of said earlier. Not only about the core. The average Joe. The urban environment of community wireless has a certain structure. The things that are not seen. The remote places. The hidden people. And so it's connectivity in that sense that perhaps we can start to talk about further finding more agile frameworks for policies and environments to have these continued positive growths. And just briefly, I have one final slide. That is very unfortunate. However, the final slide which is unfortunate and not sure why it doesn't show. I would like to dedicate this talk to a good colleague of mine to someone who unfortunately passed on Tuesday. His name is Alexi Blenof and been involved in community networking initiatives along with myself for over 15 years. He's an artist and inventor, laser technician and a community network and that's just some of his qualities.
>> MODERATOR: Thank you very much for this. Really fascinating, historical perspective and very interesting to understand how Freifunk has changing life of people. I would like to ask Carlos to provide us some insights from his world travel experiences in community networks. He is another globe trotter who probably is at this time one of the greatest expert of community network in the world due to his frequent ‑‑ he has not only collected out of miles. He knows the most diverse community network.
>> CARLOS REY‑MORENO: My condolences to you and to all the community networks and colleagues and friends on the friend that passed away. Sincere condolences. Very difficult to take it from there.
I guess something that we've been working around this particular topic. We can talk about many things.
But talking about policies and regulations, something that we realize that has become evidence, even the director of the ITU open speech on Tuesday. She was mentioning that is significant evidence the current models are of connectivity of increasing the understanding coverage to rural and remote areas are plateauing. The growth at which the extension of connectivity is plateauing. The models are not reaching to the areas of where people with lower income and remote areas sparsely populated believe. And many other people are saying it that we need other models. Both business models and regulatory frameworks as Christina was mentioning. But in order to change that thinking both in society as well as policy making, there needs to be capacity building as well. Quite a lot of change in the sense of how many people are actually trying to make that possible. On the days of everyone believing the mobile was going to connect everyone. It requires a lot of effort by changing the notion within single society organizations that has been convinced there is one single model of doing things. The market approach and private sector approach to doing things. As well as the regulators and policy makers only hitting the voices of those Stakeholders that just want to modify or have the regulations to be adopted in a way that benefit the processes or their internet. And in that sense, we've been working quite a lot on creating tools and spaces for making that change.
And on the one hand, and I think we should celebrate there is products that have been made from five years ago and the number of people who care about policy and regulation.
The fact that we are writing these guidelines means that everyone is acknowledging that we need to focus on these. And more people want to learn about these. We are in a constant process of educating ourselves.
The elements and policy frameworks that need to be changed. And every day we are more. More people wanting an interest in this. We created platforms to make that possible for trying to understand some of the elements Carlos was mentioning. To actually try to understand in the particular country what is the regulations and the policies that affect the creation of a community network. Which ones are conducive, which ones are more hindering the processes that are required along the lines.
I'm not going to repeat them. Licensing and spectrum. So together with that and a lot of training to how to engage in that Wiki and participation in other events we've been doing, there is more and more people who want to engage on this. Something that Christina mentioned is the importance of the public consultations and how regulators actually need to respond to the public consultations. What have happened now is those public consultations were only contributions from the private sector. Therefore, the only elements the regulators had to draft or to create the resolutions or contribution from the private sector. So it's not that we were to blame but we're putting significant effort on submissions together with Isaac to try to change things. Every time that we hear there is a public consultation, we try to put a collaborative submission to try to influence. And we need to see what is the real licensing framework that has come up. The only information there is a blog from the commission and the licensing framework. In that blog, there is now a category for community networks. We don't have the details. They seemed to have the input we have submitted. National scope licensing, more district license. Community network exemptions.
On Monday, it's going to be released. The competition commission report in South Africa. And I believe there is going to be significant input that we have provided that is going to be considered in there. So that's from the public side of thing. We need to be more from the public and more from the regulators and the policy makers.
When I started doing this, I thought there were people that didn't care. Like they were only there to protect the private sector, that they were busy. No, they are people and they have their hearts and they really care. In the last year and‑a‑half, we've been delivering to more than 100 policy makers and regulators in central America and Africa and Asia with the regional associations of regulators. And we try to bring one person from the regulator and one person from the policy maker. Something that has been surprising is how open they are to this input. How busy they are. How they didn't know about this innovations Elektra was talking about. The innovations on business model that Jane was presenting. How they don't know about innovations the regulatory agencies are putting to practice like what Christina was presenting. So there's a lot of space of capacity building on regulatory agencies and ministries. And we've been trying to do that. We've developed a training workshop that we increasingly received more and more petitions from the region associations to the country level to implement and there is a scope for change. We are also making that publication in the training world so there is a guideline that can be read and contains all the elements with all the evidence. Again, this is not based on ‑‑ I don't know. It's evidence in other countries with practices like what Christina was saying. Despite of the implementation. But the Mexican framework is amazing. Not every country is lucky as Mexico. That's why peak (?) It's the only example in the world so far because of that framework in Mexico. How can we make that happen into other countries?
And we have more and more friends in the community network. And there were representatives from Uganda, from Ghana, from Tanzanis, from Liberia. More and more people who want to know about this putting their foot into knowing more about what we are doing. And, yeah, something that also has happened is to celebrate. They mentioned 8 objectives to the road map how community networks are important to achieve meaningful connectivity. And other approaches to our aspect and not only the television bans but mobile spectrum. And something that happened last month. We participated in the conference and declaration of that. They direct the African union to promote networks. So despite not making progress. It's not easy. You are there fighting against people playing the game to be at every conference. At every IT meeting. We are coordinating with others to try to bring the voices of the public interest to spaces by the private interest only. And I think we have the evidence. We have ‑‑ not only the evidence from our side but they are giving us the evidence as well. So let's try to make ‑‑ keep them working on this. There is progress to come. The only thing we are seeing is if we are more, they are willing to really want to change things and they need the support and the capacity to be able to do so. They are there to do that. And more capacity. The ball is in our court. Thank you, anyways.
>> MODERATOR: Yes. I think we all totally agree not only with the general perspective you are providing us but there is an increasing openness and we are achieving incredible results. We do limited budgets and this group has been interesting to provide the platform for a lot of people having different initiatives but point of convergence. So while we give the floor to the last speak are, I would like people in the room to start thinking about what could be potential ideas, topics, initiatives on which we can work together along the next year or years.
Now to the next IGF that will be in Poland, there will be a lot of other things in between. And you and everyone here has its own agenda, very good idea to share. Very good proposals to share to find partners here. So we have last speaker. And then we will have a quick tour to understand how can we further work together.
>> Thank you. Julie Owono didn't meet it because she was in USA and couldn't come. I'm head of (?) So I'll do my best. I really do my best to transmit the message. So internet, we work for shut down. We work to stop all hate speech. We work with all African and national organizations to make internet safe. Affordable and try to work with certain government who develop this right. And our actions are oriented to the country where internet is by the government. Where some country who don't welcome internet like a potential power to improve or develop the country. And to have a new way interactive with the government and citizens. So give power to the citizen. We work a lot with certain way to make elections more (?) Or society can control and make it more credible. All this potential of internet is feel like danger in south African country where there are presidents and 20 years or 30 years in power. So we have this idea of community is very important. To stop the spread of element to have a right to connect. The communities we work together is the community of activists.
The community of organizations. This kind of community is different than the community you are building. And the way this internet are spreading in this country are not classical internet like optical fiber or the LANS network but the mobile internet. And if there are only mobile phone internets, this is very simple to shut down. But now, we are interested in how to build a community who can have control of infrastructure and build and control even if there is a shut down and spread information, share important resource. Everything is shut down. They are disconnected from the world. So digital rights is that Africa is in very specific period. Africa is facing a new world and 750 coming are using this internet to be present. So for us, it's really important to invest and build the community. So I understood what Marco said ‑‑ Carlos.
Carlos said that (?) They have thousands of projects.
This project happens. Because I think that we must account on our networks and organizations to force them to do it.
We must force them. Not only by citizen, we can force them by making with international who help this country by giving them money for development. Giving them help. We can say that the connectivity will be close. Or don't do this, they cannot have this.
For example, human rights and democracy that's supposed to help people. But if we have not leverage to force them to do, then never, never do ‑‑ in main country that citizens connectivity. What mean community for them?
They have no control of circulation of information. Citizens can have information even if they shut down TV and radio. Citizens can be connected in the world and have information and spread information. So working and in 2020, we begun to deploy the first community in laboratory the youth are using to ‑‑
>> Hello? Come this way. This one works.
>> It's that side of the room.
>> This is a big censorship. We can go to the justice. So what I am saying because we experience what I am speaking about Africa. To make connectivity and digital right effective in everywhere. And government, they don't understand what is technology. What is internet? This master it. The approach should be we have to make all Stakeholder like governments and internet users to make internet development, tool of development of citizenships.
But they don't see it like this. Now, the question is how to force them to accept the projects. None have a capacity and projects. If I can say in English because my English is very low. We are really interested to work together and maybe join all the partners to create this community who can really help the area where citizen have freedom and have their own future. There are different kind of community. The democratic country, the communities build it different. The possibility to build the community. They don't know what is computer. So how to use all those possibility to make the community inclusive. And we are there to bring our experience. Thank you.
>> MODERATOR: Thank you. Is this working?
>> You can come here.
>> MODERATOR: Just to make sure the people in the room is not falling asleep. We are moving a little bit around. So thank you very much for sharing this. And also to highlight on the one hand the great potential that community network may have to rechange life in Africa. The areas that are disconnected overlap with the area where there is lack of instruction. The fact of building connectivity there, having people building the internet themselves also can improve people's conditions and avoid to be victim of shut downs like you were saying before. On the other hand, this is not easy. Especially in some context where political leaders are keen on keeping political leaders. They are not silver bullet but they have a lot of potential. Before we wrap up, I would like to open the floor for inputs, ideas on what you would like this coalition to work on over the next months. Ideas for collaborations. Don't be shy. Take the mic. State your name and provide any kind of suggestion.
>> Very useful for me to receive this information. And I think in different intervention in particularly in our region, I think the system of human right is perfect tool to work to remove to promote community networks.
To join public hearing. We have four sessions along the year. And to present to the commission under the commission.
First of all, the system and the standards. And some particular experience like Mexico or competitive with Europe around the world and promote the commission to promote change and best practice in regulatory frameworks. And, for example, we have an example and very important report of our office about spectrum.
And this is an example that we could use to building the report about community networks. And we have public hearings and also we have petition of cases. If you have one case that you want to litigate in some countries. For example, there are a country in Latin America that don't have the fine work to allow this kind of connectivity, perhaps you could go in the state. You don't have response, you could go to the commission for the lack of access.
>> MODERATOR: Thank you very much. Those are truly excellent perspective for how our coalition could have more impacts in the upcoming futures. I saw there were hands raised.
>> I'm going to be quick cause we're over time. In short, we need to speed up connections. We don't have time if we're going to meet the targets. We need our regulators to start giving the licenses. I think we also need the global influences to be more progressive on community networks and other life‑changing technologies used by community networks. They are not just connecting communities and changing lives and providing digital literacy. Thank you.
>> MODERATOR: Thank you very much. I would ask to give the last word of our session. We will be kicked out of the room.
>> This is a huge responsibility. Thank you very much for the panel and the work that has been done. I would like to provoke the session to think in terms of principles and results.
They have been discussed as something they are managing and able to do it much better. And private infrastructure and public infrastructure should be really allowed to have the same approach to spectrum. So in this way, recommended the split of the spectrum, 32% for states and communities. 17% for indigenous. So my provocation would be what would be the difficulty in reserving spectrum for accessing without the need of license?
But we have to fill the form. Our target communities are not able many times to fill in forms and so thinking the spectrum is not public. But it's a common good. We have tools much better use enabling us in a much better efficient way. We need to be efficient. We need effective use to have license. I think we'd be much better.
>> MODERATOR: Thank you very much for the provoking statement. Excellent way to close the discussion. Thank you very much for your incredible good ideas. And see you not only next year but all along in our mailing list.
[ Applause ]